Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Five Links and a Question

I decided to try these link posts last month. It's been a little over a month, and I have tried to get one up most days. I did really good hitting every day for a while until school started back. My question to you all is this -- is it helpful? Are you all reading them? There were a couple of times I realized I had pasted the link incorrectly, and in one case even forgot to link to the intended posts, and nobody noticed (nobody left a comment or let me know on Twitter the links were broken).

I used to set up Buffer to send these same sort of links out via Twitter, but I started 'buffering' quotes when I started doing this.

I just want to make sure I'm not shooting links to the choir. My friend and fellow SEBTS student Spence Spencer does a similar kind of post, and I've noticed we've often collected the same links. Tim Challies also has a daily post with the same sort of links, so my question to you all --  do you read them, and are they helpful? Have I come across enough links that you haven't seen already? I don't want to clog your RSS feed or Twitter with useless info.

I'm really just curious. Please let me know. If I get no comments on this post, I will take it as a "no we aren't reading these and they aren't helpful." As always, thanks for reading!

Now, here are my five links for today:

First here are two posts about the movie "American Sniper". One from Miles Mullin: American Sniper, Blue Bible and another from Evan Lenow: Jesus and the American Sniper. They are both worth checking out!

Here is a great post from Spence Spencer on social media and the Christian which was sparked by conversations between Spence and Sam Morris, who is the social media guy here at SEBTS.

Next is a great post from Nathan Finn (Professor of Church History at SEBTS) on the Baptist Student Union and the Vietnam War.

Finally, this post show that re-reading doesn't usually help us learn, and gives 8 tips that will help us better retain information and study smarter.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Five Links I Have Enjoyed -- Jan 26, 2015

First, please read Nathan Finn's thoughts on the movie "Selma". "If we appeal piously to the gospel without committing ourselves to the hard work of authentic cross-cultural friendships and open dialogs, policy debates, social justice ministries, intentional outreach, and repentance, prayer and service to those in need, then our gospel is a slogan that deflects rather than a truth that transforms. There is no gospel when there is no change. “Selma” reminds me of how far we’ve come, and how far we still need to go—how far I still need to go."

This was an interesting post from NPR about Iraqi Monks who are working little by little to preserve Iraq's Christian history.

In this post, SEBTS Ethics professor Mark Liederbach explores the question: "Using your political imagination, what would an ideal polity look like from a Christian perspective?"

I was at the blog of my friend Spence Spencer yesterday looking for a book review he had done recently that I wanted to re-read, and I came across this post he had written this past November on writing papers in Seminary. I wanted to share it here again for my fellow students. Read it now, and think about it as you are planning your papers for this semester. And, you should be planning your papers now. Make some appointments at the Writing Center now. Spence has a few roles here at SEBTS, and one of those is that of grader of papers, so give his thoughts some serious consideration!

And finally, America's best-selling cars and trucks are built on lies: The rise of fake engine noise.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five Links I Have Enjoyed -- Jan 23, 2015

First, Joe Carter presents us with a respectful dialog regarding the difference between the Mormon and evangelical view of Christ.

Next, is an interview with Jay Green (professor of history at Covenant College) regarding how Christians should approach academic studies. "We have this “sturdy tradition” of integrating faith and learning, Green contends: an approach that seeks to inform, and ultimately transform the fields of philosophy, sociology, science, mathematics, and even religion...We’ve thought a lot about how our faith should affect academics, Green says, but we’ve barely considered how our study of physics, history, philosophy, or sociology can affect our faith. Green believes we need a vision of faithful learning that pushes the conversation back in the direction of the disciplines."

Next, Justin Taylor gives us an interesting post on three types of Protestant fundamentalism since 1956 in which he cites the dissertation of SEBTS Professor Dr. Nathan Finn.

Here is another post showing the advantage of writing by hand.

Finally, researchers in Italy were able to use powerful x-rays to read words on scrolls burned in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD79. "The Herculaneum scrolls were burned by a furnace-like blast of hot gas that reached 320C. The heat pulse carbonised the papyri leaving the scrolls charred and too fragile to unroll without destroying them."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The "Upside Down" Bible

Pictured here, are the two Bibles I keep on my desk within reach for easy reference, and one of these would usually be what I grab and put in my bag to take with me. Yes, I know I have access to Accordance on the screen, but I keep physical books at hand if for no other reason, out of habit, and while I like chasing things down and doing research or word-studies in Accordance, often I just pick up one of these.



These are really my favorites out of all the Bibles I own. They both have nice soft leather covers, and smell nice and leathery. The top one is a Cambridge Clarion ESV in Goatskin and the bottom is a HCSB Ultrathin Reference in Calfskin. Aside from the fact their covers came from different animals, and the fact they are two different translations, there is another significant difference. The HCSB is "upside down" as you can see here:



As you can see, the HCSB Ultrathin (on bottom) has the book and chapter listed at the bottom of the page instead of the top. When I first opened this particular Bible, I honestly thought that was the dumbest design I had ever seen. For some reason however, it seems now every time I pick up the Clarion (or any other Bible really), I tend to start thumbing through at the bottom instead of the top. Perhaps B&H is onto something. I'm really curious if some usability study went into this choice. I'm also curious about the use of a sans-serif font -- it's very readable. Both of these make for a pretty unique Bible, but they both work.

Five Links I Have Enjoyed -- Jan 22, 2015

As an aspiring church historian, I really enjoyed and appreciated this first post on seven reasons to teach our children church history. Like the author, I believe "the benefits of teaching them something about the key figures and movements from the rich heritage of the church are myriad."

Next Thomas S. Kidd looks at Robert Nisbet’s classic work The Quest for Community (1953). Kidd writes: "Although Nisbet’s wide-ranging and philosophically ambitious book will be demanding for many readers, it is well worth the effort, if only to get a sense for his overarching argument. It seems as relevant as ever."

If you are a seminarian, stop what you are doing right now and read this post from Spence Spencer about three vital relationships for every seminarian. "[The start of a new semester] is always an exciting time on campus. The energy level that the students bring to campus can be sensed as we sing together in chapel, see people in the library, and interact on the walkways. At the same time, when new members are introduced into a community, there are always periods of adjustment as the new faces (and sometimes the returning ones) try to figure out how to relate to people around them."

This is an interesting post about how University of Kentucky computer scientists were able to capture the writing on ancient scrolls.

Finally, here are 500 years of European colonialism in one animated map.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Five Links I Have Enjoyed -- Jan 20, 2015

First, Spence Spencer gives an ethical primer on how Christians should view wealth and poverty.

Next, Sam Storms explains how happiness depends partly on grammar.

I also enjoyed this article on Baptist Press about how Southern Baptist became pro-life.

Next, Thomas Kidd looks at George Whitefield's troubled relationship to race and slavery: "I do admire Whitefield because of his passionate commitment to the gospel, but his relationship to slavery represents the greatest ethical problem in his career. It represents an enduring story of many Christians’ devotion to God but frequent inability (or unwillingness) to perceive and act against social injustice. Instead of condemning Whitefield as irredeemable, I would suggest that we let his faults—which we can see more clearly with 300 years of hindsight—caution us instead. Even the most sincere Christians risk being shaped more by fallen society than by the gospel."

Finally, David Prince explains why faithful expository preaching is Christ-centered preaching.